Almost every market in Michigan has become a "Buyers' Market" and because of that I have observed some disturbing behaviors among buyers and the real estate agents that represent them.
Let's set the record straight...if properties are properly priced, in good condition, and show well they will sell! Buyers shouldn't assume that, just because they look at something one day, it will be on the market for days and weeks in the future.
Secondly, Buyers' Agents need to make sure they are representing their clients to the fullest extent. These representatives cannot assume or let their clients assume that time is not a factor in securing a property of interest. Further they should be just as attentive to submitting offers and doing follow-up as they were in a more balanced market.
This past week was a great reminder of these thoughts. I had a luxury home listed at a very competitive price and everyone who saw this property recognized the great value it represented, even in this market. A couple looked at the home a week or two ago and expressed interest. Late last week they visited again with their agent and decided to proceed with an offer. Meanwhile a second party visited the home twice with their agent and we were getting other showing requests.
On Saturday afternoon I received a call from the first buyers' agent who said he had an offer (on behalf of buyers who had seen the property over a week before). When I asked if the offer was written he indicated that it was not. I told him that I would not notify the sellers until I had the offer in hand and encouraged him to get the offer to me as soon as possible so that I could proceed with presenting it to the sellers that evening. He indicated I would have the offer sometime on Sunday afternoon. It never came.... Meanwhile I was notified that the second party had great interest and would be writing an offer.
On Monday morning both agents were notified of the other's stated intentions. By Monday afternoon I had both offers. The first buyers' offer was very low. Both agents were notified that we would be presenting the offers on Tuesday and both were encouraged to let their buyers know that this was a multiple offer situation and therefore they should write their best offers. Both parties did, significantly increasing their offers.
Ultimately a deal was executed with Buyer 2 and sold over list price. Great for the sellers! Not so great for the buyers.
Here's my point...had the first buyers acted in a timely manner they probably would not have had competition to their offer and would have had a better chance at negotiating a deal. Had the Buyers' Agent not been so casual about getting an offer together and in to me there is also the chance that his buyers may have prevailed. Additionally, the second agent included a lender letter and earnest deposit copy with her clients' offer, the first agent apparently didn't feel it necessary even though he knew it was a competitive situation. One happy buyer was represented well while the unhappy buyers were not.
NAR studies indicate that negotiation skills rank highest (98%) in what consumers want and expect from us yet agents fullfill that expectation less than 50% of the time. Is it any wonder that we need to convince consumers of our value?
The attitude that the sellers were desperate, given that the house was vacant, and that no one else was likely to be looking cost these folks a fantastic home at a great price. On so many levels their agent failed to represent them adequately! I'm left wondering if he will have another chance!
Copyright 2009 Sondra TenClay All rights reserved